Well, it’s true. I’m not 26…I’m not 30…not even 35 and I passed up 40 a couple of years ago. Yup, that’s right….I’m 42 and will hit 43 around Labor Day. What does that all mean? That just means my hair is 42 too and it ain’t like it was when I was 26 just like my body isn’t either.
I just wanted to share because if you are like me sometimes you miss the old you. The YOU that could eat anything, do anything, wear anything and do anything to your hair and you could bounce back with no issues, problems, or regret. I had thicker hair, a thinner body frame and didn’t even need to wear a bra! Yea, that was a CHOICE at the time. Ha!
This also means I was using chemicals in my hair from 13 years old until 35 years old. That’s 22 years of regular touch-ups. 22 years! We’ve got some Naturals out here at 22 so just let that sink in for a minute…. That’s a rather long time allowing very damaging chemicals penetrate my hair shaft for those glorious slicked down edges and let’s not forget using the curling iron on a regular basis with that too. Yea, I should just be grateful for not be bald-headed, but more than that I have had 22 years of bad hair habits. You think when you marry that with hormonal changes and the aging of my hair it doesn’t affects how it looks NOW?
While plenty of experts say the slump starts after age 30, it varies from person to person. “There are many factors that play a role,” says Alan J. Bauman, M.D., a top U.S. medical expert on hair loss and restoration. ”Heredity, diet habits and even over-styling can cause your hair to age prematurely.
Mindy Goldstein, Ph.D., former president of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, echoes this sentiment. “The follicles in aging hair are smaller and have less pigment,” she explains. “So the thick, coarse hair of a young adult eventually becomes thin, fine, light-colored hair.” –NaturallyCurly.com
I bring this up because all that perming did me no favors as I have gotten older. Am I mad? Well, yes and no. It was what you did ESPECIALLY if you lived in the south and dealt with humidity. My hair is growing…but not as quickly or as thickly as I would like or as even as great as some 22 year olds out here having long locks within a few years. It can depress you (me) whoever as you compare your hair growth to theirs but let’s face it…it’s not gonna measure up. I can’t compare my 42 year old self to my 22 year old self. I just cannot when discussing hair or body.
My mind on the other hand is stronger, smarter and calmer than my 22 year old self so I win in THAT category and that’s why I decided to even write this post. I know the score. I know the reasons why my hair is not as full or as long as my younger counterparts so I just gotta remind myself of that from time to time and felt there may be others out there selling themselves short too. Stop comparing yourself to that young girl who is still growing. Just like Cindy Crawford stated in Allure Magazine:
“Everyone loves to talk about plastic surgery and all that stuff, but hair is the most underestimated thing. If you have good color and shiny hair, you can see that across a room. Now I look at my daughter’s and I’m like, ‘You have my old hair! I want it back!’”
I am NOT making excuses. I am merely stating the facts of growing older. Yes, we can still grow hair and yes there are thousands if not millions of older women with long locks. I’m discussing how genetics, the aging process and the over processing of our hair for years can take a toll on our tresses. Just don’t beat yourselves up over your growth or your thickness. Take your vitamins, eat right and exercise. (I’m stepping that up myself and will share what I’ve been up to next week.) Don’t forget to lower your stress and enjoy your life as well as your hair. If you have become Natural then enjoy the journey…that Natural hair journey that has made so many black women happier as a result. Love and nurture your hair and yes…it will continue to grow.
Love your hair my older Natural,